Why Do I Need a Website?
The number of tech people that I've met that "don't need a website" astounds me. Whilst taking Systems Analyst in college and IT in university, the majority of my peers didn't have a website to sell their skills to potential employers. I'm glad to say at least some of them listened and created their own online presence.
But what about non-tech people? Here's a 2013 Forbes article on why everyone needs a website. Controlling your first impression online is paramount to creating a professional image of yourself.
Okay, I'll stop preaching and assume you're on board by now.
Your first instinct is probably to gravitate to this thing you've heard about - WordPress. The platform was originally made for blogging, but a lot of organizations use it as a content management system because of how easy it is to use. The best part is the vast amount of customization because of themes and plugins. A lot of these are free, but a lot are not. If you're on a free hosting plan like x10hosting, you're probably not going to get any free theme pack-ins with your WordPress install.
For the past couple of weeks I've been searching for a free theme to set up my cousin's website. I didn't want to put in a lot of work (he had a whopping budget of $0!), but the free themes I came across were frankly, ugly. Until I came across Colorlib's theme - Shapely. I was in love with the shape of it.
It has a simple set up wizard that guides you through installing it's required plugins. I'm not a fan of page builders, but this one was bearable because it uses built in WordPress features to get the job done, decreasing the bloat. Their demo is a good showcase of it's capabilities. Personally I only used the parallax banner with a free stock image, and the contact form 7 widget.
For my cousin's resume page, I used a Word to HTML online converter, and pasted it in. You can also just use the regular editor and paste it in straight from Word - I just wanted to refine the design a bit.
After that, I just simply linked the resume page in the menu. There's also a feature to create a social media menu that automatically creates icons for you in the footer. Here's a link to the very helpful documentation.
Here was the end result. Not too bad for an hour's work!
Oh, and before you go, here's a list of plugins I think are essential. They're all free so don't worry!
- Yoast SEO - You need to control how your search results show up on Google. It's important!
- WP Smush - Decreases image size automatically. Smaller images = faster site.
- Wordfence - The bad thing about WordPress is that when left unchecked it becomes open to vulnerabilities. But Wordfence should help with that.